Thursday, 12 April 2018

Hollands & Blair 2 Corinthian 1

Match 118/17/1568 - Wednesday, 11th April 2018 - SCEFL Premier

Hollands & Blair (1) 2 McDonald 41 Campbell 56
Corinthian (0) 1 Bewick 72
Attendance: 92

Admission: £5 Senior
Programme: Included
Mileage: 54/7,989

The season of postponements that keeps on giving delivered another very late call-off at Lordswood. I arrived ten minutes to find people walking away from the ground with the news that the referee wasn’t happy with certain areas of a wet pitch and had called the game off. Information that Holland’s game was still on led to a 13 minute dash to Gillingham arriving, along with several others, just in time for kick-off. The weight of clubs in the Medway towns has its advantages.

Hollands and Blair have been staging a late recovery and look to have assured their safety with this fourth win in a row in a sometimes ill-tempered game.

First chance of the game fell to the home side as Justin Ascheri set up James McDonald but his shot was narrowly wide. McDonald saw an effort just past the quarter-hour brilliantly tipped over by Corinthian goalkeeper Aidan Prall.

The first rather comical moment, but a pretext to the ill-feeling that was going to surface later came in the 36th minute when the Corinthian’s Jamie Billings went down in front of the benches as if he had been shot. This caused much amusement, but a great deal of anger from the home bench.

Hollands had been the dominant side in the first half and when they finally scored in the 41st minute it was no more than they deserved. A cleverly taken free kick from Jack Simon set up McDonald to drill a shot into the far corner.

Early in the second half Prall made another a good save, low to his right to deny Lewis Taylor at his near post before Corinthian produced their best moment of the match when a free kick from Jamie Billings was headed wide by Michael Hurcomb.

After 56 minutes, a cross from Louis Valencia found the head of Kush Campbell who steered it into the net at the near post.

As the gathering mist was turning into full blown fog the far side of the pitch disappeared from sight. However, Corinthian awoke to their task and it took a fine save from Ryan Nicholls to touch onto the bar an effort from Jamie Billings.

With 18 minutes remaining the visitors set up an exciting finish when a cross from Billings was met with an acrobatic scissor kick from Sam Bewick to half the deficit.

As the time ticked away and Corinthian desperate to get the ball forward a 22-man brawl ensued when Prall and Campbell tussled for the ball in a dead ball situation.

But Holland’s held out for the vital points as the fog closed in even further.

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